Aid organizations not feeling fatigue, even after so many natural disasters in a month. “If there is a limit to human generosity, we haven’t seen it.”
In the past month, four hurricanes and three earthquakes have devastated parts of Texas, then Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Mexico, destroying homes, business and leaving hundreds dead.
As terrible as each situation is, might the run of natural disasters bring disaster-relief fatigue?
No, said Tony Morain, a spokesman for Direct Relief, a nonprofit listed by Forbes as among the world’s 10 best charities and by Charity Navigator as one of the few “exceptional charities” with a perfect score for accountability and transparency.
“If there is a limit to human generosity, we haven’t seen it,” he said.
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Even people just recovering from disasters themselves are reaching out to give to the next in line, Morain said.
“We’re getting such nice notes from people in Texas and Florida now, saying we got so much help now it’s our time to take care of people.”
Direct Relief is focused on providing prescription medications and health care to the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations and is responding to damage created by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the three earthquakes that struck Mexico this month.
On its website, people wishing to donate can choose to give to the agency’s general fund or to a specific disaster. If donations are made to help in a specific disaster, 100 percent of the donation will go directly to that cause, Morain said.
The agency had believed that they’d seen a peak in contributions a few days after Harvey hit Galveston, Port Arthur and Houston, with $314,000 donated online on Aug. 31, Morain said.
And, indeed, daily donations did taper to $160,000 by Sept. 5, he said, and total donations for Irma reached only half the amount given after Harvey.
But when Mexico was struck with first one, then two, earthquakes, giving skyrocketed. On Thursday, the nonprofit received more online donations than it ever had before — $325,000.
“We were surprised and very inspired,” he said.
For those who wish to give to smaller organizations, Morain said, the work done by Texas Community Health Centers and Florida Community Health Centers is unsurpassed.
“They are so busy helping people they really don’t do much fundraising, but their work is…